What is a Certificate of Good Faith in Medical Malpractice Cases?
After visiting a doctor, medical clinic, or other healthcare facility, you expect to get better from the injury or illness you are suffering from. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Sometimes, this is due to the progression of the injury or illness itself. Other times, though, it is a matter of negligent medical staff who do not provide the proper standard of care.
Patients can file a lawsuit after being hurt by careless medical providers, but medical malpractice cases have very strict requirements injured individuals must file. One of these is the certificate of good faith. Below, our Knoxville medical malpractice attorney explains more about these certificates and why they are so important to your case.
The Certificate of Good Faith Requirement in Tennessee
In 2008, Tennessee lawmakers made major changes to the state’s medical malpractice laws. In an effort to prevent frivolous malpractice lawsuits from being filed in the courts, one of these changes included the requirement for the certificate of good faith. A certificate of good faith verifies that the plaintiff has consulted with an expert in the field. That professional must confirm that the plaintiff did not receive the proper standard of care, and that they have a valid medical malpractice claim.
The Consequences of Not Filing a Certificate of Good Faith
As with any lawsuit, if you do not follow the specific requirements for filing, your case will likely be dismissed by the court. This also applies to the certificate of good faith requirement. Unless you have an extraordinary reason, such as the death of the expert or the death of the plaintiff’s attorney, any medical malpractice case filed without the certificate will be dismissed.
Having a medical malpractice dismissed is challenging enough, but in cases when the dismissal was due to the lack of a certificate of good faith, the case is dismissed with prejudice. In cases that are dismissed with prejudice, you cannot refile the case. This means you cannot simply obtain a certificate and refile. You will likely lose your right to file your case and receive any damages at all.
How to Obtain a Certificate of Good Faith
Obtaining a certificate of good faith is not easy for most people, particularly those trying to recover from serious injuries. To make sure you can obtain the certificate and comply with all other malpractice lawsuit requirements, it is important to work with the right attorney. The right attorney will work with an extensive network of professionals, including an MD/JD who has in-depth legal and medical knowledge.
Our Medical Malpractice Attorney in Knoxville Can Assist with Your Case
At Atkins Brezina, PLLC, our Knoxville medical malpractice attorney understands the many requirements placed on these lawsuits and will make sure you comply with them so you obtain the full and fair compensation you deserve. Our skilled attorney also works with MD/JD Tucker Montgomery who can provide additional advice. Call us now at 865-500-3121 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation and to obtain more information.